- of or relating to a knee-jerk.
- Informal. reacting according to a certain habitual manner; unthinking: a knee-jerk liberal.
Origin of knee-jerk
- a reflex extension of the leg, caused by contraction of the quadriceps, resulting from a sharp tap on the patellar tendon; patellar reflex.
Origin of knee jerk
Examples from the Web for knee-jerk
It is not a knee-jerk response to a sudden perceived threat.To Stop ISIS, Britain Is Set to Stop Free Speech
November 25, 2014
This whole thing about a black-and-white culture of knee-jerk reactions is reinforced by television.James Patterson Goes Full ‘Fahrenheit 451’ With Burning Book Video
November 25, 2014
The knee-jerk cynicism with which it has been greeted is dysfunctional.Paul Ryan’s New Plan Is a Good One, Especially for Black People
July 30, 2014
Republicans are going to try to paint Bellows as a knee-jerk Democrat who just uses the civil-liberties argument when convenient.Pro-Pot, Pro-Gay, Anti-NSA… and Running for Senate
April 4, 2014
The passage contradicts the knee-jerk reaction which wants to quantify suffering.Susan Minot on Africa, Joseph Kony, and the Limits of Writing About Love
February 10, 2014
Sensibility, the knee-jerk, and plantar phenomena are normal.A Statistical Inquiry Into the Nature and Treatment of Epilepsy
Alexander Hughes Bennett
Later the affected muscles become exquisitely tender, and then atrophy, while the knee-jerk or other reflex is lost.
The deep reflexes may also be altered, the knee-jerk being frequently absent on the affected side.
In some subjects the larger dose, 45 cubic centimeters, practically abolished the knee-jerk.How to Live
Irving Fisher and Eugene Fisk
The presence or absence of the knee-jerk may be a most significant symptom to the physician.A Practical Physiology
Albert F. Blaisdell
- Also called: patellar reflex physiol an outward reflex kick of the lower leg caused by a sharp tap on the quadriceps tendon just below the patella
- made or occurring as a predictable and automatic response, without thoughtkneejerk support
Word Origin and History for knee-jerk
patellar reflex, neurological phenomenon discovered and named 1876; the figurative use appeared soon after the phrase was coined.